How We Finally Quit Smoking.

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After years of trying and failing,  my husband and I FINALLY succeeded and quit smoking.  Here’s how we did it…

Quitting smoking is seriously hard. Finding ideas and motivation to stick with it is rough in the beginning but eventually things will get better. #kickingthehabit #fuckcancer #quittingsmoking #healthierlifestyle #cancersucks #youcandothis

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking that the second that I found out that my Dad had Small Cell Lung Cancer, I was able to quit smoking.

Immediately.  Just like that.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened.  I was terrified once this Lung Cancer was confirmed to be Small Cell.  The truth is, there was only my Mom and Dad, and my sister and I.  And Daddy and I were the ones who had smoked.

I quit smoking pretty much right away.  And initially, I did really good.  I even gained the weight.  I was really focused and successful.  The thing is, my husband smoked, my friends smoke and… let’s face it, I am an addict.  I love to smoke.

Aside from parents, smoking was my longest relationship and apparently my ONLY coping skill. 

I don’t love the fact that it can kill you.  Or that it causes serious health issues.  I don’t love that it’s harder to breathe and that over the years I would find myself winded when I shouldn’t have been.

I didn’t love that I always smelled like smoke.  That my car (not to mention my breath) reeked all the time.  That cigarettes controlled my day and if I went too long, I would start jumping around, super anxious until I could get outside.  You’re kind of like a slave to the cigarette.  When it’s time, that’s it.

All of the bad stuff aside.  I was so much more tolerant when I was smoking… I actually miss that.  Now the dumbest things make me crazy.

I finally quit smoking (for real) when my husband was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer.

It’s been over four months at this point since we quit smoking.  Without question, the longest I have ever made it without a cigarette.

Here’s the deal:

We got really lucky.

The tumor in my husband’s bladder was superficial and didn’t penetrate the muscles, or the walls of the bladder.  Thank God.

These tumors are from smoking.

During the clearance for surgery- he had an elevated red blood cell count, also from smoking (and prevented us from having the surgery for almost 2 weeks).   When he called me to say that there was an issue with his blood and he was being referred to Oncology-Hematology, I had the meltdown of the century.

Did you know that most Hematologists are also Oncologists? I feel like EVERYONE should know that, so you can save yourself the stress of having a horrible meltdown when you hear the word Oncology.

It might be the single most horrifying phrase ever spoken… “I am being referred to Oncology-Hematology,”  I promise you, you will only hear one word in that sentence.     

Once they removed it, he was done.  He enters into what the Dr. called the “surveillance program.” They check him according to a very strict schedule for pretty much the rest of his life.

2 days after the elevated red blood cell debacle and the conversation with the Hematologist (Oncologist) we quit smoking, and this time we actually made it!

How we Finally Quit Smoking:

Fear.

This is the best motivator I have ever had to stick with this.  Whenever, I considered just giving up the fight and falling back into smoking, the fear of everything that was happening, not to mention all of the horrible things that would happen to me if I didn’t do this.

And I have to tell you, that I NEVER want to experience anything like this again.  Ever.  It’s kind of sad that I couldn’t REALLY understand any of this until I was forced to live it. 

Hope.

The truth is, we may not have done this soon enough, we could both still get lung cancer. There are no guarantees.  But the hope is that we have made this change early enough to make a difference.

“It’s never too late” is a myth.  Sometimes it’s too late to do anything to change the circumstances.  But sometimes it’s not.  My hope is that we have a really good chance of never dealing with this again.

Nicotine Patches.

I am not going to lie; the patches would be better if there was a pump and you could give yourself “a hit” before you lost your mind.  The real reason this works for me is fear.  I am terrified that if I smoked while using the patch I WILL have a heart attack.  So, it’s a chance I won’t take.

I didn’t follow the system exactly.  I used the patches for about 3 weeks and by that time I realized I had either left it on for 3 days (before remembering to change it) or that I had removed it in the shower and forgot to put it back on.

Basically, I used this as a method to get me through the first few weeks.  Once I got through that, I rolled out with nothing.  And surprisingly enough it worked.

Exercise.

The only thing that really helped with the cravings, was a burst of energy.  For me, it’s walking.  Short bursts of energy to get me through.  I practically jumped out of the car one day while my husband was driving through town last week and powerwalked down the driveway of the local gas station because I just need to.

Life Savers.

I am actually shocked that either of us still have any teeth left!  I would have to guess that we probably ate 10 huge bags (at least).  Each.  It was the only way to survive the first few weeks and while it’s probably not the healthiest habit, I can think of worse things.

Once we got through the first few weeks, it was much better.  Now, the one who suffers the most is our dog, Rollie… No joke, she used to go out constantly throughout the day.  Every hour on the hour, like clockwork.

Now, that poor dog is like…Please?!?  I have to go so bad!

P.S. Overwhelmed by all this cancer business, we can relate! 

Related Posts:  

117 ways to take a break from cancer 

My Favorite Ways to Combat Stress (When I’m Helping my Dad Battle Cancer).

The Best Cancer Resources and Where To Find Them.

 Quitting smoking is seriously hard. Finding ideas and motivation to stick with it is rough in the beginning but eventually things will get better. #kickingthehabit #fuckcancer #quittingsmoking #healthierlifestyle #cancersucks #youcandothis

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